Lessons from the Field: Sometimes Engagement Needs a Little Extra Work

One day I showed up to do the initial engagement with a woman who had not come to the door the first two times I had come to her house. Today I could hear children in the house and after waiting a few minutes, she came to the door.  She said two of her children were home sick and she had six loads of laundry to hang. She suggested another time might be better.  I asked her what the kids would do when she hung clothes and she said “watch TV.”  I said, “Let me help you.”  We carried the clothes to the backyard and talked about what it was like growing up as young girls in southeast Kansas, helping our mothers do chores.  Then we talked about her concerns and I explained what I did and how wraparound could help.  Engagement with her was not always totally smooth, but on that day we went from her hiding in her house when I showed up to active involvement.

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